The Final Frontier


For someone whose idea of a vacation is the clean, crisp scent of pine trees, squirrels scampering, deer delicately nibbling leaves, and gentle ocean breezes, Las Vegas wasn’t on my 1000 Places to Vacation list.

But when I discovered my East Coast son was attending a conference there and our friends Denise and Mike Okuda would be speaking at a Star Trek Convention at the same time, a trip to Las Vegas was in the cards.

(Did you know the pun is the lowest form of humor?)

I’d never watched Star Trek other than to read a book in the same room with Star Trek: Voyager on for my son, so to say I was a fish-out-of-water at this convention is an understatement.

(*clichés are predictable and unimaginative.  Avoid them like the plague.)

Although I thought I had nothing in common with Star Trek fans, I discovered their friendliness, passion, and joy contagious!!  Fans of all ages dressed in creative costumes and willingly posed for pictures.  Their energy turned the event into one big party! !!

(*Don’t overuse exclamation marks!!!!)

Getting into the spirit of things, and trying to belong, I saw a tall man in costume which looked vaguely familiar.  “Chewbacca?” I asked my son.


“Mom, that’s Star WARS,” he said.

It’s good to ask questions, I reminded myself.

The Star Trek culture has been so beloved and ingrained within our culture the Smithsonian is opening an exhibit on Star Trek in July 2016, the show’s 50th anniversary.  Mike and Denise Okuda’s new book, encyclo_book

will be released at the same time.  Mike Okuda, Scenic Arts Supervisor, was nominated for Emmy Awards in Outstanding Special Visual Effects.  His wife, Denise, a scenic artist and computer/ video supervisor, is the co-author of this two-volume edition.

“We were bombarded with questions from NASA,” said Mike at the convention.  “We tried to be so far ahead of current technology –at least visually.”

In a turn of events as strange as green aliens on earth, Star Trek not only became an icon for fans, but for NASA scientists who contacted them for ideas.

You don’t have to attend a Star trek Convention to boldly go where no man has gone before to create your own science fiction or fantasy world.

Writing Prompts:

  1. Create your own world.  How far can your imagination go?  Describe the inhabitants, government, environment, character goals.   Let these ideas simmer for a while, building upon them as you take walks, daydream, and sleep.
  2. Begin crafting your own story, using your new world’s parameters.
  3. Experiment with different genres.   Poetry, graphics, music, short story.
  4. Writing rules.  Know them before you break them.

(*A nod to William Safire’s list of writing rules from the New York Times.)





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